The Weather Channel interviewed designer William Edward Summers about how to create a disaster resistant building
The traditional American single-family house is not designed to withstand disasters. Ideally a house should offer good protection from floods, fires, earthquakes, storms, civil unrest and financial difficulties. Most houses today are designed with substantial input from building contractors who have the primary goal of selling for the highest price.
The disaster resistant building project by William Edward Summers, a San Francisco, and British Columbia based design theorist, explores ideas about how residential and small to mid-sized commercial buildings can be designed to be disaster resistant.
1) Use attics or half stories, rather than roof trusses, to add substantial, usable square footage to your building for very little additional cost.
2) Build at least one full story above the one hundred year flood plain and consider building the first floor walls in concrete.
3) Allow room for a potential future rental unit even if you never intend to have tenants. If not used to create cash flow, it still might come in handy for use by friends or family members, or as quarters for a live in nurse or domestic assistant.
This house in the North Berkeley Hills neighbourhood of Kensington has a spectacular, panoramic view of downtown San Francisco, and the Golden Gate bridge. William Edward Summers completed the house in 2001. the design has cubist elements, which is a motif of Summers, set in the lush greenery of the hills. Here is shown the plan, then construction, and finally the completed house.
This renovation in the Gordon Head neighbourhood of Victoria, British Columbia , By William Edward Summers, was to create an addition that would fit seamlessly with the existing residence These photos show the project under construction, and completed.
During the late 1980s designer/architect William Edward Summers wrote several newspaper columns, specializing in restaurant reviews, and music articles. This article is about an Indian restaurant on Valencia, in the Mission District, in San Francisco, alifornia
If you happened upon Vancouver-based residential designer William Edward Summers’ newly constructed houses in Miyazaki, an exclusive seaside resort area in southern Japan, you might think you were back in a U.S. suburb. The three custom houses, built by Nippon Development, combine fashionable North American-style exteriors with traditional Japanese interiors, complete with shoji screens and tearooms. According to Summers, in a culture where leisure time is scarce, there is great interest in Japan in recreating foreign experiences while continuing to live in a traditional way—and without even having to leave home. These unique hybrids feature elements central to Japanese lifestyle, such as a tatami room, whose proportions are based on the number and sizes of the household’s tatami mats, and a Japanese-style bathroom, which requires that the shower be enclosed in a separate room, and that the sink be located directly above the toilet. Also, nearly every room of the house has direct access to the outdoors. Small by Western standards, in Japan—where most people are used to living and working in very close quarters—the 1,500-square-foot homes could be considered palatial.
Each of the houses bears the name of the North American city from which Summers drew inspiration. There is the Charleston, based on the Colonial architecture of that South Carolina city, complete with fanciful balconies and shutters; the Lake Tahoe, which features a facade reminiscent of a ski lodge, and the Vancouver, which could easily slip into a neighborhood in British Columbia without causing a ripple. To view elevations of the three houses, you can visit Summers’ web page at www.designenvelope.com.
Christine Liotta, Acumen Magazine, Toronto
The purpose of this blog is to provide information for the author creating a biography of William Edward Summers. I will be posting transcribed articles, graphics, and whatever I can find that may be useful. To avoid spam, and sociopaths, I will be receiving comments via email, rather than on the blog. Please forward comments, photos, etc, to me, at this website; www.designenvelope.com, or him at www.aboutwilliamedwardsummers.wordpress.com